The Unlikely Journey of 3 Heinz Ketchup Ads From Mad Men to the Real World to Cannes

David's Anselmo Ramos reflects on the multiple gold Lion winner

CANNES, France — “Don Draper couldn’t sell it. Maybe we can.”

One of the most delightful ad campaigns of 2017, for Heinz ketchup, wasn’t written by a real person. It came from Mad Men’s most famous creative director (via showrunner and lead writer Matthew Weiner), and lived only fictionally within the AMC show about 1960s advertising—until Anselmo Ramos and his agency, David Miami, came along.

Draper failed to sell through his “Pass the Heinz” ketchup campaign, notable for its risky absence of the product. But Ramos figured why not pitch it to Heinz again, this time in the real world? And indeed, back in March, the ads rolled out for real on billboards and in newspaper in New York City.

On Monday night here in Cannes, the campaign came full circle, as it picked up gold Lions in both the Outdoor and Print & Publishing Lions contests (and adding a silver Lion in Print as well).

Adweek sat down with Ramos on Monday to talk all about the “Pass the Heinz” campaign—how the idea came to life, and the thinking behind the media buy.

Read more about the campaign here. And for more from Ramos, here he is talking about David’s stellar work on the Burger King account over the past year.

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